Focus, Vito. FOCUS.
 
One of the many, many reasons I suck is that I am easily distracted by shiny ideas. Because of this tendency, I have several projects in various stages of draft right now. In my rare periods of productivity, I'll rotate among them, making some progress on each.

Now is not such a period. Now is a period of scrambling to make ends meet each month, and writing off writing as pointless self-indulgence. I know intellectually that my dismissing writing in favor of "real" work is short-changing myself and you, but if my heart and head were in alignment more, hey, I probably wouldn't have the urge to be a writer in the first place.

This round of writer's anxiety has gotten so bad that my characters themselves have started turning on me. They often talk to me in draft, which sounds so fucking twee I can hardly stand it, but it's also true. I'll be writing a scene with a seemingly minor character, and then she'll tell me, 'Hey, you know I'm gonna be doing X later, right? This is everybody's first chance to see me. Don't fuck it up.' Ordinarily, I love this. But lately, they've been getting pretty harsh in their critiques. An example from my YA book-in-progress:

"What crawled into your bed and died?" Hana asked, sounding stung. "It's a chance to see things from the other side of the equation. I'm excited."

"You're always excited. It's the keynote of your character. Your whole purpose is to offset my own lack of insight and curiosity. You're just a cheap, two-dimensional prop of a sidekick character." Alissa rolled her eyes, as much  at the writer's ham-handedness as at her friend's unrelenting optimism.

So....yeah. That's been happening kind of a lot. It's useful, in that it shows me where to cut and where to re-shape, as well as where to develop. It's inhibiting, in that those critical voices are what I imagine from my readers as well as hearing them from my characters. Paralysis ensues.

At least for the next few months, I'm going to up my writing time from non-existent to just limited. That said, my higher-paying jobs are going to be taking a lot of my attention. That means cycling through an hour's worth on each of five projects is going to yield next to no solid material.

What I'd like to know is which of my projects seems most interesting to you all for me to focus on between now and, oh, let's say July 1. Capsule descriptions are below.

Library mystery series v. 1: Excerpt previously posted here under the title "Shhhh!"

Library mystery series v. 2: Excerpt previously posted here under the title "Morning Routine"

Library mystery series v. 3: A librarian's extra gig turns murderous. (Currently in outline only.)

YA fantasy novel: Young oblates from four warring magical orders are sent on a quest to end the war.

Memoir: Food, love, sexuality and how they shaped me

Random self-doubting yet arrogant navel-gazing blather, mostly on Facebook

Not sure--post more excerpts first!

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